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Where boards will focus their attention in 2023

This webcast explored what board directors across the Americas told us they will focus on in 2023.

The EY Center for Board Matters surveyed board members across the Americas about their priorities for the coming year. We heard from more than 400 corporate directors from a cross section of industries and company sizes who shared their top five priorities for 2023.

This webcast is part of our ongoing webcast series, Better Questions for Boards, designed to provide directors with insights and questions to consider as they engage with management on a variety of complex boardroom issues.

During this edition, our panel looked at the survey findings and discussed how boards can address oversight and new developments in areas such as:  

  • Navigating uniquely challenging economic conditions
  • Rethinking capital strategy
  • Enabling innovation and technology transformation​
  • Championing a future-focused talent agendaOverseeing cybersecurity and data privacy

Key takeaways

  • Boards should work with management to address drivers of economic uncertainty by pressure-testing plans and assessing multiple options. They should ask what scenarios have been considered (even highly unlikely ones) and the potential impacts to financial performance, growth and strategy.
  • It is important for boards to question the options management has considered and challenge the assumptions underlying those decisions, given the rising cost of debt and need for flexibility. They should also drive conversations that crystallize strategy and provide a clear view on each business’s market and underlying growth drivers.
  • Boards can support innovation by enhancing governance of the company’s R&D portfolio (e.g., investments in existing operations, opportunities in adjacent markets, and disruptive new business models) and they can raise provocative what-if questions relating to new products, services and revenue streams.
  • A deeper view into employee demands and sentiment can help boards go beyond assessing the tone at the top. Boards should spend more time with the chief human resources officer and enable a focus on long-term talent strategy needs amid shorter-term cost management challenges.
  • Boards should approach cybersecurity and data privacy governance as essential to operational resiliency. They should confirm that the company is keeping pace with leading cybersecurity risk practices, and is focused on response preparedness and resilience, including well-designed incident simulations and a rigorous independent assessment.

This webcast was 75 minutes. The discussion was moderated by Kris Pederson, EY Americas Leader, Center for Board Matters. Panelists included:

  • Mitch Berlin, EY Americas Vice Chair, Strategy and Transactions
  • Mike Kanazawa, EY Global Innovation Realized Leader and EY Americas Advisory Growth Strategy Leader
  • Talvis Love, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Baxter International Inc.
  • Kelvin Westbrook, Board Member, Mosaic, T Mobile, Archer Daniels Midland, Camden Property Trust

What we heard from the audience


CPE credits: 1.4


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